Not Safe for Work

By: L. A. Witt

“Not to state the obvious,” he whispered after a while, “but I’d say we’re compatible.”

“Yeah, I kind of got that impression too. But just to be sure, maybe we should do it again. Soon.”

He ran his fingers through my hair. “Yes, please.”

“Thought you’d be agreeable.”

“After a fuck like that?” He slid closer. Facing each other beneath the covers, we settled on the pillows, hands loosely clasped between us as if this thing had started long before this afternoon.

“So.” I ran my thumb along the back of his. “Full disclosure—I have plenty of ‘playthings’ at my house, but logistics can sometimes get a little complicated.”

“In what way?”

“Well, I don’t live alone.” I cringed inwardly—this was one of those moments that had been known to send a prospective guy running. “My ex-wife lives with me.”

Rick’s eyes widened slightly. “Really?”

“Yeah, it’s…” I waved a hand. “I mean, we’re not together. It was more of an economic thing. Her second divorce got really messy and really expensive—cleaned out her savings to the point she had no choice but to dip into the kids’ college fund. But he was an asshole, and she needed to get away from him, so I took over paying for the kids’ college and let her move back in with me last year until she can get back on her feet.”

“Oh. You must have a pretty good relationship, then.”

“Definitely. We didn’t make very good spouses, but we’re friends and we’re pretty good at being roommates.” I laughed dryly. “And considering I’m now the one putting all three kids through college simultaneously, it’s kind of nice having someone contributing to the mortgage and utilities. So, you know, it balances out.”

“I can see that. How long before they start college?”

“Start?” I laughed again. “The youngest two started this year, and the oldest started the year before that.”

“You…really?” His eyes got huge. “You have kids who are old enough to be in college?”

“Uh, yeah.” I gestured at one of my rapidly graying temples. “Can’t you tell?”

Rick smiled, sliding his hand over mine. “I just figured that came from working for Mitchell & Forsythe.” He pointed at his own hairline. “I think I’ve picked up a few from that place.”

“So it’s not just me?”

“Uh, no.” He chuckled. “I knew you had kids. Didn’t realize they were college-age, though.”

“How did you know?”

“Jon.” He rolled his eyes. “How many times have I been in your work area? You’ve got like six pictures of them on your desk.”

“Oh. Right. And they’re a little out of date, I guess. I didn’t…realize you’d noticed them.”

His smile turned sheepish. “I noticed a lot of things about you.”

“Did you?”

“Mmhmm. After I saw you on the app, it made sense why I’d never seen a picture of anyone besides your kids, and why you didn’t wear a wedding ring.”

“Not recently anyway.”

“How long have you been divorced? If you don’t mind me asking.”

“Thirteen years from my kids’ mother, six from my second wife.”

His eyebrows rose. “You’ve been married twice?”

“Almost a third time, but…” I waved a hand. “Things happen. Long story. What about you?”

“Never quite made it to the altar. Almost did, but…” He shook his head. “Just as well.”

“Long story?”

He draped his arm over my waist. “Long story.”

“Aren’t they all?” I rested my hand on top of his arm. “Anyway, since she and I live together, you’ll probably meet her at some point, if that’s not too weird.”

“Not for me. If you two live together, and it’s not weird for you or for her, then it’s fine by me. When we get to that point, I mean.”

“Of course, of course. No need to jump into meeting the ex-spouses or the kids quite yet.”

Rick laughed. “Yeah, give me a little warning for that one if you don’t mind.”

“I will. I promise.” I paused. “You and my younger daughter would probably get along great. She’s looking into your field.”

“Well, if she needs an internship or anything, I’d be happy to see if we have any openings.”

A weird feeling coiled in the pit of my stomach. I wanted to help my kids as much as possible, but also let them step out on their own and be independent. I wasn’t sure where “the bazillionaire I’m sleeping with can hook you up with an internship” fell on that spectrum. I half shrugged, running my hand along his side. “When the time comes, I’ll keep that in mind.”

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